One of the clear benefits of attending NMU is the Teaching, Learning and Communication (TLC) notebook initiative, giving all full-time students a laptop. Such is a true privilege, something that we should be grateful to receive as a part of our tuition dollars.
With this privilege and cost, students typically make these laptops their primary computers –– assuming the university will provide laptops that will accommodate their classes and personal interests. With the most recent batch, as students started their typical, daily use on the computers, programs ran slower. The reason for this is the new Lenovo SL410 computers have 1GB of RAM, which simply isn’t enough for Windows 7. It is better to run systems with more RAM than is required to run the operating system, something the computer experts who run the TLC Notebook initiative seems to have overlooked.
When the decision was made about what computers would be given to students, the need for RAM in the laptops should have been considered. Blame has been placed on the students’ use of the computers, too many programs are open at one time, but enough people are having problems that such blame doesn’t make sense, its unlikely computer use has changed dramatically with the new computers. Instead, students are left with the problem of slow computers.
The inadequate solution provided by the university is a $55 implement, which forces students to solve the problem with their own money; even though the price for the laptop itself comes out of tuition. Faculty and staff do not have to personally pay for more RAM because the cost for RAM for their laptops is being paid for by their departments.
By providing students with computers, those who make such decisions about them need to consider how they will operate in daily use.
It seems opportunistic that students were given computers that are too slow for use, but they are expected to pay $55 to make up for the lack of RAM. These students shouldn’t have to make up for the oversight –– it seems that the people who run the TLC notebook initiative have taken full advantage of students.